Belgium: Nokia, Proximus deploy live fibre network

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Nokia and Proximus have turned on what they claim is world’s fastest fibre access network at a media event in Antwerp attended by the Belgian Minister of Telecommunications, the Mayor of Antwerp and executives and engineers from the two companies.

Operating over existing fibre and Nokia equipment deployed in the Proximus network, the 25G PON live network connects the Havenhuis building in the Port of Antwerp with the Proximus central office in the middle of the city. The network speed exceeded 20 Gigabits per second, which they say makes it the fastest fibre network in the world.

Proximus is a provider of fixed broadband networks in Belgium with 45.9 per cent market share. The operator is accelerating the move to fibre, adding 10 per cent coverage each year and is on target to reach at least 70 per cent of homes and business by 2028. As part of its inspire 2022 vision, it is creating a high capacity open network which will be available to all operators, eliminating the need for fiber overbuild.

Rupert Wood, Research Director for Fiber Networks at Analysys Mason, said: “Today’s 25G PON achievement demonstrates the unlimited potential of fiber. This next evolution in fiber technology will provide enterprises with greater than 10 Gbs connectivity and the capacity needed to support 5G transport along with future next generation services such as massive scale Virtual Reality and real time digital twins.”

Guillaume Boutin, CEO Proximus, added: “The activation of the first 25G PON network worldwide shapes our bold ambition to be a trendsetter, to become a reference operator in Europe and, why not, across the globe. Together with Nokia, we have achieved a technological leap forward that will become a key enabler of the digital and economy and society that we stand for. Today’s announcement is also an occasion to stand still and look at the pace at which we connect the citizens of Antwerp to the technology of the future. Thanks to huge investments, we are realizing an acceleration that is unseen in Europe, and I am convinced this will be crucial to remain competitive for us as a company, but also for Antwerp as a city and for our entire economy.”

Federico Guillén, President Network Infrastructure Nokia, said: “10 years ago our companies launched the technology which enabled a switch to HD TV. Today we make history again with a network that is 200x faster. We are proud to support Proximus in enabling the world’s first 25G PON network, powered by Nokia’s Quillion chipset, which supports three generations of PON technologies. Quillion has been adopted by more than 100 operators since its launch last year and all operators deploying the Quillion based GPON and XGS-PON solution today have the capabilities to easily evolve to 25G PON.”


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